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post #1 of 3 Old 12-27-2004, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I have finally pulled the trigger and will be getting my samsung hlp-5685 and I would like to hook up my computer through dvi. I am a total noob when it comes to htpc and I wanted to know if I would need any extra software or hardware in order to run my computer through the sammy. I have a p4 2.8 gig with a gig of ram and ati radeon 9800 pro. I will use this computer pretty much to watch dvd's ,high def,and pc gaming as well as xbox. I will be getting another pc with better specs and a better video card in about a month and I am open to any suggestions you guys may have to putting together a htpc.
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-28-2004, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmk1027
I am a total noob when it comes to htpc and I wanted to know if I would need any extra software or hardware in order to run my computer through the sammy.
Adding a PC to your home theater is an amazing and worthwhile endeavor. The games are super-cool, and having the ability to watch movies, listen to your MP3 collection, and browse the Web on the big screen is addictive. I absolutely love it, and I suspect you will, too... though you may experience big headaches getting it all set up.

I don't know about connecting to a Samsung per se, but I suspect it'll handle the Radeon's DVI output just fine. It's mandatory that you make sure you can switch to custom resolutions, and (in my case anyway) it's critical to write a custom monitor driver so your card can deliver the image to your screen. That's where PowerStrip (a FREE utility) comes in.

The nuances of PowerStrip are too many for me to go into detail, but luckily, there are enthusiasts out there who've done all the dirty work for us. I found the following sites invaluable in getting my video working the way I wanted it:

http://www.htpcnews.com/main.php?id=guides
http://www.digitalconnection.com/sup...ffnotes_17.asp

Now, to the hardware side... these are a few of the things I can think of off the top of my head, the elements that made HTPC a reality for me:

*For video, using the Radeon, just a long enough DVI cable should do.

*For audio, this may be trickier... I got the USB Audigy ZS and a freakishly long USB cable to run both analog and SPDIF to my receiver. It works great, but others in this forum have commented that there are better sound cards out there for HTPC use. (Soundforce, I think? Shrug.) Maybe your motherboard has an optical out jack, or maybe your PC is situated close enough to the receiver. Can't say unless I know more about your setup.

*A wireless keyboard-mouse combo is a real life-saver. I got the Logitech bluetooth duo, don't remember which offhand, but it's been very reliable and I would recommend it. I'm sure the ones from MS would do well, also.

Now to the software... I already mentioned PowerStrip, but if you're planning on DVD playback, I've been extremely happy with TheaterTek. It does an amazing job of scaling the image and has a bevy of video controls to let you optimize the picture to suit your TV. I don't even touch my crummy progressive-scan DVD player any more.

I've also used PowerDVD and the InterActual players... both were fine, but neither of them offered the kind of control that TT did. PowerDVD had a big problem with audio stutter during DTS playback, which was one of the reasons I sought out TheaterTek to begin with. I imagine others here can recommend alternative playback solutions, but my endorsement goes to TheaterTek for now.

Got a few snaps of my HTPC setup at the following:

http://photos.yahoo.com/dub273

It may be crude and haphazard, but it's still a constant source of joy to me. I hope you don't have to go through too much hair-pulling to get your rig up and running. Best of luck!

==\dub/==
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-28-2004, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Well thanx for all your help and by looking at your setup all the hair pulling seems worth it.
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